You Want to Change the World? Two Simple Ideas

Acknowledgment by another can set our hearts dancing like these sparkles on the water.

Acknowledgment by another can set our hearts dancing like these sparkles on the water.

We all want to create a world of love. We want to help our fellow man. We want to live in harmony with the earth. I offer two simple practices that can move us there. One to do, one to stop doing. We can begin to make a practice of acknowledgment and we can desist with complaining. 

Every sentient thing in this world, wants acknowledgment. We humans, most of all. We want to be seen for who we truly are. Acknowledgment is a powerful gift that we can give one another that feeds our soul in a way that no material gift can. It costs nothing, is a joy to give and the benefits are reflected back to us as we see the other shine their light more brightly. It is true, what you feed, grows. Think of the power of that! We want to live in a world of love so let’s feed that love in one another by acknowledging it in action wherever we find it.

How many of us recall an acknowledgment by another that helped us find our path. Someone might have said, “You are a natural teacher. You are able to engage with everyone, right where they are. That is a gift.” That could have set a person’s career path alight in front of them. I am reminded of a Cameron Diaz movie, In Her Shoes, about two sisters. One is the responsible, successful one and the other is seen as a failure. When the one who has appeared a failure, moves to a new environment with her grandmother and her elderly community, she is seen in a new way. She receives acknowledgment for her gifts and after a time, is able to begin to see herself in a new light. Her world changes from one of despair to one of joy. She comes to know herself as a valuable being with gifts to give.

You may never know how your words of acknowledgment to another might be the pole supporting them in their day, just as this tree is being supported.

You may never know how your words of acknowledgment to another might be the pole supporting them in their day, just as this tree is being supported.

That is how powerful acknowledgment can be. It can change our lives.  We have not been taught to acknowledge our own gifts, except perhaps those that provide us a living as a career. Let’s expand that and acknowledge the beingness rather than the doingness of another. Every day we witness others being kind, cheerful, thoughtful, courageous, a pillar of strength, joy-filled, loving, playful, fearless…….the list goes on. By taking the time to acknowledge the gift being shown by the other, we allow it to grow more prominently into being. If I acknowledge the patience that the cashier showed to the elderly man in front of me in line, she is more likely to be patient with the next customer. If I am acknowledged as  a good listener, I will strive to be a better one. As Mother Teresa said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

It works with everything. I acknowledge this laptop, that I am typing on, for its many wonderful years of service to me, always being ready to work when I am. I acknowledge and express appreciation to the salamanders (the elementals of fire) for burning so merrily for me this chilly morning. I acknowledge my car for starting up every time I turn the key. I acknowledge the beauty of the sun as it begins its streaks of color across my backyard. As I walk by my fern plant, I caress its fronds in tenderness and gratitude for its lacy beauty.  I acknowledge our mother earth for the gift of water that I drink and food that I eat. I talk to everything, acknowledging the gifts they bring into my life. I believe that everything responds, reflecting that love back to me. Our world is full of beings that want to serve us just as our natural impulse is to be of service to others.

Our society provides established routes of service: working at the soup kitchen, donating money to charity, volunteering at a shelter, and the list goes on. What about the things that no one sees, that we can’t point to, to feed our egos? Acknowledgment is one such thing; a low key, quick and easy way to uplift the energies of all about us. How about setting yourself a goal of acknowledging something about someone, known to you and unknown to you, a few times a day. Be on the lookout for behavior that you want amplified in this new world and shine your light on it with your words. I believe that it is a practice that will bring you great rewards. Let’s begin a chain of acknowledgment, spotlighting the good we wish to see grow in this world. It begins with me and with you.

Another simple way to clean up our world: stop complaining. Turn those thoughts to appreciation instead. Our words hold power and we are learning to utilize that power in  more mindful ways.  Complaints are weighty and our mother earth bears the effect. They are toxic energy that we all have within our power to clean up. It is a choice that we are free to make each moment. Complaining feeds on itself and can become a way of life. The next time something you do not like shows up in your world, take a breath and connect to our mother earth. Feel how you can view the situation with appreciation for what it has to offer you instead of complaining about it. Our mother will smile and send you a wave of appreciation in return.

When you hear folks complain about all the wrongs of this world, smile and share with them a couple of simple ways to make it right. Trust that you are doing something powerful to assist in raising the vibration of this earth by using your words to acknowledge the wonder that you see about you, in people and things and in yourself. I would love to hear your stories of how implementing this practice has impacted your world. I Know it will spread light everywhere you shine it!

5 thoughts on “You Want to Change the World? Two Simple Ideas

  1. Dear Linda,
    It took a beautiful soul as your “self” for me to acknowledge one more time that I already have this in me. I have been implementing this practice for some time now and yet, I am not sure how much I have acknowledged or seen it in this light. Thank you so much!
    Caring for my autistic son, who is now 19 years old and who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in early 2011, has been a gift – an opportunity for healing.
    When everyone else saw only his vicious and aggressive appearance and doctors had given up hope on ever finding the right combination of medications to treat him, I persevered with love. I intended to see past all his labels and beyond his diagnosis. Doctors wanted to keep him locked up but I wanted to take him home because what I saw in the hospital was the absence of LOVE. My son, who only knew one hospital, which was the Children’s Hospital, ended up in a place where he was seen and treated as a psycho. The hospital staff could not separate his autism from some other symptoms. If my son was displaying some of his autistic tendencies, the first thing that came to their mind was to administer a drug to sedate him. There was no presence of Love there and I knew I had to take him home with me.
    Long story short, my husband and I were able to take him home after 3 months of him being in the Adult Mental Health Unit and a lengthy tribunal hearing process with the magistrate.
    What we didn’t know was that life was about to give us an experience that nothing could have prepared us for. After we took him home, we realised just how much he had changed. He was a very different boy from when we agreed to have the doctors treat him in the hospital. He was vicious. Both my husband and I were kicked, bitten, punched in the stomach while asleep, our hair pulled, etc. All things we never imagined that my son would be capable of doing to his own parents. We were living in constant fear. We were like under house arrest and unable to go anywhere. He would react to just about anything like the noise from TV, radio, people’s conversations, etc. All these would set him off. My loving and affectionate son seemed to have forgotten that we were his parents, as if he couldn’t recognise us. I remember going to work twice with a black-eye.
    I somehow learned to cope and persevered with love. Perhaps, it was my own spiritual practice that helped me to cope but one thing for sure, my practice included seeing my son’s light underneath all his aggression. All teachings from different teachers gave me the tools to help me find my inner power and strength. I had learned to stop complaining as I learned it was only strengthening whatever I was complaining about. I had learned to acknowledge my son’s Beingness – his Light. Seeing my son’s light was one thing but to honour myself and see my own light was another. It had taken a long time for me to realise that the answers were all within me and that I had limitless power and strength to stop my pain. I can’t even recall when my pain all stopped but it wasn’t until around Easter last year that I learned about true surrender, acceptance and trusting whatever was unfolding,. And finally, I learned about honouring and loving myself. When I realised that part of honouring myself was to have the time to attend to my own happiness and not to feel guilty about it, that was when miracles started to happen. Things started to fall in place. Help came from unexpected places. The universe finally had our backs.
    To this day, my son continues to improve. I can’t even remember now when he stopped physically hurting us but he has not done it for many months now. There are still things that we are unable to do like dining out, going to the movies but we are again able to enjoy the outdoors with some support. In retrospect, it was all a gift. It’s true. Because we couldn’t watch TV or listen to music (and it was all too quiet except for my son’s incessant loud self-talk), it gave me valuable time to reflect, meditate and have meaningful conversations with God. I learned to embrace my fear of my son’s aggression. I realised how unreal my fear was.
    It was no wonder that my son punished me because he thought I had given up on him and gave away my power. I am not sure if I have already completely forgiven myself for eventually giving in to pressure to have my son treated in the hospital but I am simply trusting my light. I acknowledge my own light.The answers are within me.
    I love you,

    • Dear Bea,
      Oh, courageous heart! Today’s post may speak to you as the love has infiltrated deeper. I have journeyed with mental illness in folks about me and know the amazing heart that it takes to see beyond the behaviors and labels. Oh, your son chose well in his parents. Bless you for your heart that is a lighthouse of strength. I am so grateful that you knew to turn to fill your own heartspace. To love yourself with that wonderous heart of yours, to fill it to the brim, as in honoring yourself, you honor your son. Please forgive yourself for your past actions as they were taken in love and part of your son’s creation as well. All is perfect and part of this tapestry of love.
      Your words: I had learned to stop complaining as I learned it was only strengthening whatever I was complaining about.
      are powerful. Your family is doing a mighty work to return all to love and shed some light on autism and mental illness. One of my heart’s works is to see all individuals suffering in this way, healed and whole.
      Thank you for knowing that it must begin in your own heart. I feel your light and sit here with tears. Breathe deeply and know that moment by moment, you are moving mountains. I bless you and hold you in my heart of love,

  2. Dear Linda,
    Thank you so much for your reply. I feel very supported by you and genuinely acknowledged this time although, we haven’t known each other long enough. I feel your sincerity. You were right. It feels good to be acknowledged. I was so touched by your reply that I got a little emotional, needed time out and couldn’t reply at once. Maybe, it was something I don’t often get – acknowledgment. That said, I am aware that there’s still a part of me that is (as one teacher quoted) ” still looking outside for validation, while I have a treasure within that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.” I will email you at length after I return home this afternoon. I am taking my son out today because one of the young men (support workers that usually take him out), is away on holidays.
    Loving you,

  3. Love those thoughts Mama!

    Acknowledging and desisting from complaining, too really powerful and freeing practices! Am going to start today! xxx

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